MONROE – Monroe Township officials announced the addition of 35 acres to its open space inventory thanks to another collaboration with Middlesex County and the State of New Jersey through the Farmland Preservation Program.
The acquisition of the 35-acre Zimbicki Farm along Federal Road closed on May 26, according to information provided by Monroe Township.
“This is a prime piece of Monroe Township real estate that is now and forever saved from
development. We are thankful that Middlesex County and the state took the necessary
steps to acquire the land in partnership with us,” Mayor Stephen Dalina said in the statement. “The addition of another 35 acres of farmland moves us closer to our goal of preserving half of the township. This acquisition would not have been possible without the cooperation of the Zimbicki Estate. We are grateful for their interest in preserving this land.”
The county, in partnership with the State of New Jersey and the Township of Monroe, purchased the development rights for the farmland located on Federal Road, owned by the estate of the late Mr. Anthony Zimbicki, Sr., of Monroe, for the total of $945,837, according to the statement.
The state contributed $567,502.20, the county paid $189,167.40, and Monroe paid
$189,167.40 toward the purchase, according to the statement.
“The Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners has always had a commitment
to preserving land within our beautiful county, evident in our thousands of acres of
farmland and open space already preserved,” Middlesex County Commissioner
Director Ronald Rios said in the statement. “We look forward to continuing to preserve more farmland properties and protecting them from non-agricultural development as it’s an investment in all of our futures. Farmland preservation is the first step to ensuring food is available for generations to come.”
Middlesex County’s Farmland Preservation Program purchases the non-agriculture
development rights on farmland that meets criteria established by the Middlesex County
Agriculture Development Board and the New Jersey State Agriculture Development
Committee. The value is determined by two independent appraisals, and the farmland is
preserved by placing an agriculture preservation easement on the property, according to the statement.
The state, county and municipality share the cost of the farms’ development rights, with the state contributing much of the purchase price, according to the statement.
Middlesex County’s program is strictly voluntary; farmland owners interested in participating in the program must submit a formal application to the Middlesex County Agriculture Development Board.